Rolling Out

National Black Chamber’s Larry Ivory is bullish on Black businesses

Chairman of the board of the National Black Chamber of Commerce encourages support of Black enterprises
National Black Chamber's Larry Ivory is bullish on Black businesses
Larry Ivory

Larry Ivory is the chairman of the board of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Ivory was present at the National Business League meeting on Nov. 18, where he spoke with rolling out about Black businesses and how people can show more support.

What was the purpose of this meeting?

The National Business League and the National Black Chamber of Commerce came together as two very powerful organizations to take a look at holding corporations accountable and giving a scorecard. We think that’s important because how do you know how well you’re doing in the class if you don’t get a score? It’s like watching a football game and not knowing what the score is, you don’t know what kind of play you’re going to run at the last moment. It’s important to have a scoreboard, and they brought together a brilliant group of people from data analytics and cybersecurity and the whole gamut of very talented academia. People who are in the supplier diversity field and political figures come together to really examine how to do this and how to do it in the right way. The team of people here is extraordinary in terms of being able to make this happen.

What’s been your proudest moment as the chairman?

Helping Black businesses. Every time we help with Black businesses, we increase economic empowerment for Black people, and that’s important. Helping a Black business with a contract and fighting for advocacy is something that is really rewarding to us.

How can we support Black businesses?

We support Black businesses by doing business and every time you find a small problem, don’t walk away from the business and say you’ll never do business with a Black person again. I find it ironic when I hear people say that sometimes because they never say [that] when they go into a White business that they’re never going to do business with White people again, but when they have a bad experience with Black businesses we can be overcritical. I think it’s important to understand that we are original and behind us is a copy that can never be better than the original.

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